Altice USA to Stay at LIC Office Tower After Amazon Pullout

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(Bloomberg)—Cable provider Altice USA will keep its offices in the New York skyscraper that Inc. had planned to move into before abandoning a deal to build a major campus in the city.

The television company has been at One Court Square since 2017, but would have been booted to make room for Amazon. When the online retailer backed out of New York in February, there was speculation over whether Altice would still find a new home, or stay put in the 53-story office tower in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens.

Altice and Savanna, the building’s owner, said in a statement Friday that the cable company has signed a lease for 103,133 square feet (9,581 square meters) at One Court Square, and has the option to expand into additional floors in the future.

“Moving to Long Island City has exceeded our expectations, and we’re thrilled to solidify plans to remain in One Court Square for the long term,” Altice Chief Procurement Officer Yossi Benchetrit said in the statement. “The vibrancy of this neighborhood, along with access to the wider pool of talent in the metropolitan area, has been great for our business and our culture.”

Amazon, based in Seattle, announced in November that it would build additional headquarters in Long Island City and northern Virginia. Part of the plan was to lease a million square feet at One Court Square. A few months later, the e-commerce giant withdrew from New York following fierce public criticism of tax breaks promised to the company, and concerns about the impact on housing costs and transportation.

The move sent shock waves through the community, which had been counting on Amazon to bring as many as 40,000 high-paying jobs and dozens of other businesses to the city. Savanna was quick to start filling the hole left by the online retailer at One Court Square. Health-care provider Centene Corp., which last year acquired insurer Fidelis Care, recently agreed to lease as much as 500,000 square feet in the 1.5 million-square-foot tower, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

One Court Square, also known as the Citigroup building, was built in 1989 to house employees of the bank. Savanna has detailed plans to invest in a number of upgrades to the property, including a modernized lobby and a redesigned retail annex that will feature a 17,000-square-foot food hall.

Citigroup Inc. has been moving workers out and consolidating them into its Tribeca headquarters ahead of its 2020 lease expiration in Long Island City.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lily Katz in New York at [email protected]. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Debarati Roy at [email protected] Christine Maurus

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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